One thing I knew we would have in our home: lots of white walls, and a navy dining room. When our builder mentioned dining rooms were becoming less common and asked if we still wanted one, I practically shouted “yes!” Our family of 6 needs space and lots of items on kitchen countertops gives me anxiety. I wanted a separate space for ongoing projects, a quiet(er) place to eat lunch or take a phone call, birthday dinners and of course holiday dinners with family.
And now, 16 months after move in day, we have our navy dining room! First take a peek where we started with this room on move in day.
Obviously, the light fixture is the showpiece in the room!
A Navy Dining Room But Still A Before
This is 6 weeks ago…
Now we have our navy dining room, but it’s far from finished! This navy blue grasscloth wallpaper gave it a beautiful start, just waiting for some life!
Goals For The Room:
My overall goal for this room was simply for everything to be pretty for your eyeballs, but practical for dem kids. Seriously! And because our dining room was now a dark navy dining room, I also wanted to incorporate lots of white to let the light bounce around. After the first week of lots of ideas, I nailed down a navy dining room moodboard.
How Our Navy Dining Room Came Together
I started my plan around the dining room table. We looked for a table that could take a beating and not be too precious. This table was found at Pier 1. I have never shopped there before- to be honest I was worried it would look cheap with such a good price tag, but it’s truly a beautiful table. The wood doesn’t have that rough feel- it’s smooth and a great color. This is the Stonewashed Natural.
To elevate the room while still keeping it casual, we used the rattan arm chairs from Serena & Lily for our end chairs, with a tailored cushion in a high performance fabric (wipable! washable!). I love that the brass end caps on the bottom tie into the chandelier in this room. Mixed with the navy walls, the chairs are a subtle nod to the beachy vibe of this room.
After choosing such pretty end chairs, we wanted our kids’ chairs to contrast but have the same vibe. These wooden white Bentwood chairs are lightweight so the kids can pull them out for themselves. I had to go on a hunt to find these in wood (metal wouldn’t tie into all the natural textures), but I succeeded. Amazon, of ALL freaking places!
Grounding the Space
Rugs in eating areas… such a topic. We choose an outdoor Welfleet Rug and I’m hoping it holds up well to our every day messes. It feels durable! I try to be honest on here and not uphold some kind of false pretense- if it’s Thanksigivng dinner and my whole family is eating here including our little baby cousins, I’m rolling up this rug. And that’s ok. Because it will be admired 364 other days of the year– so I encourage you to find a rug you like in your dining room! No shame in rolling it up for a feast.
On Instagram I shared with you all this Serena and Lily outdoor party bar with ice bins we found on cragislist, sitting under their Bar Harbor Bone Inlay Mirror. You can read more about the bar discovery here. I love the woven texture on the side!
The artwork is the first thing you see in the room off the front door, and the colors are muted and lovely. It is SO big you guys, it replaces the need for anything else on that wall. This piece is extra special because we are planning to go to Paris for the first time this summer.
The Oyster print was found locally in downtown Durham at an adorable store called Chet Miller, but you can also purchase it directly from Rifle Paper Company.
Other Design Elements
I was holding my breath to see if the Wesley Sideboard would arrive in time, and it came this week! It’s amazing how high end furniture looks and smells! There certainly is something extra special about it. The scale is just right, as it is centered under the double sconce and able to hold the (very large) aged brass lamp, the nautical flag I framed, my massive tall vase of green vines and other pretty odds and ends. In addition, photos of my Grandpa who recently passed also sit here.
Is it too many wood tones though? You tell me. I’m undecided.
And lastly, y’all I am so impressed with Tonic Living. They overdelivered on this custom cushion that covers our bench in our entry. Tonic Living helped me pick out this high performance fabric specifically for kids with dirty summertime bare feet – it withstands all kinds of stains (even permanent marker they say??). In addition, they added a zipper at my request so I can wash it. If you have a bench you want a cushion made for, they were easy to get a quote from. The lumbar pillow with tassels is from Serena and Lily, and the plaid pillow is also from Tonic Living.
Truthfully, I am relieved it’s finished (and so is my bank account, Jose, the kids, the laundry and grocery situation). But mostly, I am just grateful for the opportunity to learn so much from the other One Room Challenges, all found here.
In conclusion, my biggest takeaway is don’t start without a plan from the start. I am a big “let’s wing it and see what happens” kind of girl, so this was my first time nailing down specifics. A design plan and a visual moodboard – not even a fancy one, have you seen mine?? – will be your biggest deciding factor in whether your end result is what you envisioned.
Read through all of my progress here:
Thanks for the encouragement and organization from the One Room Challenge, and it’s media partner Better Homes & Gardens.